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ISS receives reprieve to 2024 (Photo: NASA)

The Obama Administration has approved an extension of the International Space Station (ISS) program from 2020 until at least 2024. This is an unfunded statement of intent, which must be both approved and funded by the US Congress. Neither NASA nor the White House have revealed from where the additional US$4 billion per year of funding for this extended operation will come. At present none of the ISS international partners have plans to support such an extension. Is this the best decision for the future of manned space exploration?  Read More

An ensemble of ODD instruments will take to the stage at Euromold in Frankfurt, Germany, b...

Kiwi Professor of Mechtronics Olaf Diegel has now added a set of drums and a keyboard to his catalog of beautiful 3D-printed instruments. His new creations will join guitar and bass models for a road trip to Frankfurt's EuroMold event next month, where a band will take to the stage to play some live sets using the instruments.  Read More

Marshall engineers hot-fire tested 3D-printed injectors at 6,000° F (Image: NASA/MSFC)

3D printing technology has already made the move from engineering workshop to the home, and now it's set to make its mark in space. NASA has hot-fire tested 3D-printed rocket engine components, which have managed to withstand incredibly high temperatures and pressures to the same standard as traditionally manufactured parts. Being cheaper and faster to produce, 3D-printed parts have the potential to revolutionize the manufacturing of rocket engine components and save the space agency considerable time and money.  Read More

2014 Mercedes-Benz AMG SLS Black Series

Due for its public debut at the upcoming Los Angeles motor show, Mercedes-Benz AMG has finally revealed images and details of the SLS Black Series. Ever since the gull-winged wonder was first released in 2010, enthusiasts and schoolboys have been anticipating the inevitable ultimate (road-going) version. It'll come as no surprise that the beast in question is wider, harder, faster, and completely awesome.  Read More

SLS solid rocket booster segment being moved (Image: ATK)

When NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) enters service in 2017, it will replace the historic Saturn V as the largest, most powerful space launch vehicle ever flown. To lift its initial 70-metric ton (77 ton) payload into orbit, the SLS will rely on additional boost from a pair of the largest solid rocket motors ever to be built for flight. The first of these boosters is being assembled for NASA in Brigham City, Utah by ATK Space Systems using new manufacturing methods intended to make these behemoths safer and less expensive.  Read More

2013 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT Roadster

There's some confusion as to whether the new Mercedes-Benz AMG SLS GT (to give it its full title) is a replacement or an addition to the SLS stable. The official line is that it is a faster and more focused additional model but it seems likely that the standard SLS will quietly disappear. It make less and less sense in the face of the monstrous SL 63 and 65s now available. The SLS GT, however, makes perfect sense - it fixes the niggle that every single reviewer has complained about since day one. Gearbox, gearbox, gearbox.  Read More

US$200,000+ Convertible SLS AMG Roadster breaks cover

Though the SLS AMG Coupe is now in showrooms, and we’ve just seen the first images of the 563 bhp convertible version a few minutes ago, they were developed in parallel and they’re apparently so close in so many ways that choice will boil down to personal preference, not driving dynamics. The convertible has an electrohydraulically-operated soft top that can be closed or opened at up to 31 mph, and is claimed to be whisper quiet to its electronically-limited top speed of 197 mph  Read More

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